Macon-Bibb government to come in with public fanfare

Ceremony and first official meeting at City Hall

jgaines@macon.comDecember 30, 2013 

The public is invited to watch the new government of Macon-Bibb County be sworn into office Tuesday.

Countywide Mayor Robert Reichert and eight commissioners will be sworn in during an 11 a.m. ceremony at City Hall, 700 Poplar St. The ninth and final commission seat will be decided in a Jan. 14 runoff election between Macon City Councilmen Henry Ficklin and Larry Schlesinger.

The ceremony will be followed by the commission’s first business meeting and an open house.

“This is an historic moment for our community, one which we can all share and celebrate,” Reichert said in a news release. “I want to thank the people of Macon-Bibb for making this possible and the Transition Task Force for their work during the past year and a half to get us where we are today.”

Superior Court Judge Tilman Self will swear in the new government, with an invocation from the Rev. Ronald Terry. A color guard ceremony by local law enforcement and firefighters also is scheduled.

The commission chamber can hold 175 people, and another 140 can watch by video from the Municipal Court chamber on the ground floor of City Hall, said Chris Floore, the city’s public affairs director. The ceremony and meeting will be streamed online at www.maconbibb.tv and broadcast on government-access cable channel 14.

Light snacks will be provided by Good To Go Catering, and the public can tour the new mayor’s and commissioners’ offices, as well as the customer service office in City Hall, Floore said.

Voters approved government consolidation in July 2012, and a 15-member task force has worked for more than a year to set up the transition. The current city and county governments will dissolve Wednesday.

The new commission will meet in a freshly renovated chamber, and the former City Council offices also have been redone.

At the commission’s organizational meeting, the agenda calls for new officials to make a series of sweeping decisions: appointing top staff members, adopting a code of ordinances and a budget for the last six months of the fiscal year that ends June 30, personnel and financial policies, and a few other items.

Reichert has said he hopes those votes will be swift and unanimous. Selection of a mayor pro tempore also is on the agenda, but some commissioners have urged delaying that vote until the new government’s third meeting Jan. 21, when the outcome of the Ficklin-Schlesinger race should be known.

Regular meetings of the Macon-Bibb commission will keep to the former city and county schedule, on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m.

To contact writer Jim Gaines call 744-4489.

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